“if you’re not soiling yourself (or at least somewhat concerned) about what’s happening on land, sea and air, then you’re not paying much attention to the omnipresent signs of environmental breakdown.”
Why Do So Many People Believe In The Fantasy Of Infinite Growth On A Finite Planet?
Rob Dietz, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
Aug. 31, 2011
How do you feel about the economy these days? How about the environment?
Do you think we’re sitting in a better spot than we were ten, twenty, or thirty years ago?
It’s hard to find folks who are satisfied with either economic or environmental conditions.
In the first place, the way we run the economy is producing appalling results.
We have a mix of financial fiascos, unacceptable unemployment, and a dismal disparity between the haves and the have-nots.
And if you’re not soiling yourself (or at least somewhat concerned) about what’s happening on land, sea and air, then you’re not paying much attention to the omnipresent signs of environmental breakdown.
Each day it becomes more apparent that we are on a misguided mission. Pursuit of perpetual economic growth is not a winning proposition for a lasting prosperity.
Building a bigger economy can make sense in some circumstances, but always aiming to build a bigger economy means taking an ever-bigger chunk out of the earth’s ecosystems and the life-support services they provide.
Why, then, do so many people believe in the fantasy of infinite growth on a finite planet? Is it because we can’t come up with a better idea? Is it because the rich and powerful have trapped the rest of us in their web of conspiracy? Is it because people are hopelessly greedy and materialistic?
At various times and places we might answer these questions affirmatively, but we can more commonly answer, “No, no, and no.” Putting aside conspiracy theories for the moment, there are three honest (but bogus) reasons why we pursue economic growth past the point of effectiveness and reason.
Bogus Reason #1: We think we have to have economic growth to create jobs.